Blessed Are Those Who Don’t Tell You Too Much Or Too Little
I talked with Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, yesterday and he was recovering from a huge family birthday celebration. Ed’s great aunt Mable was honored with a 95th birthday party at her family farm. Relatives from far and near showed up to the birthday bash.
Aunt Mable is a living family legend having outlived four husbands. It is rumored that she has more money than three banks. Her farm home has always been a gathering place for family functions. The women come with a generous dish to serve on the table and a dessert. The men talk and brag a bit and the kids play. It is a time when family relatives tell you way more than you want to hear or give far too little information to satisfy you.
Talk at family gatherings may not go beyond the superficial but on occasion, there can the sharing of personal experiences that are hard to handle. Not the exaggerations of a huge fish that swamped the boat, but those events in life that cannot be easily understood or fully explained.
In the Bible James, John and Peter kept silent about what they saw on a mountain. They were too amazed and puzzled to share what they saw. They were used to seeing fantastic events being near Jesus, but the mountain top experience kept them silent. They were not willing to tell anyone what they had seen until after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
It must have been hard for all the apostles to tell others about all the remarkable things Jesus did. Peter could swear to the truth that Jesus walked on water because he tried it himself and began to sink. Jesus had to rescue him. It wasn’t hard to get people to believe Jesus could heal diseases and disabilities. Large crowds came to Jesus seeking healing for themselves and their loved ones. They were healed, and the people made Jesus famous for his healing power and miracles. No matter how famous Jesus became, there were always those who doubted and opposed him.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many from Jerusalem witnessed the miracle. After doing so, Jesus could not move around openly because the chief priests and Pharisees in Jerusalem plotted to take his life. In time they crucified Jesus and Jesus arose from the dead on the third day. His resurrection confirmed that Jesus was indeed God as well as a man. The disciples were called to share their personal truth about Jesus. They needed to give all the truth about Jesus as they had known him face to face.
Peter, James, and John had clearly seen the divine part of Jesus on a mountain top. Jesus had taken the three apostles with him up on the mountain to pray. There Jesus’ face and clothing became dazzling white and two men Moses and Elijah were speaking with Jesus. A cloud overshadowed the apostles and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” For a time, the three apostles didn’t report what they saw on the mountain. Once Jesus arose from the dead; they confirmed how they themselves saw Jesus as God on the mountain.